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Society placed in danger with five per cent wage hike

Monday, April 18, 2011

The assault on workers is now complete! Using its full might, and with the whole-hearted support of the business sector, the State has placed the entire society in danger. The threat to the middle-income earner has reached its zenith and the country must now prepare for a shift in the balance of power from the voter to the moneyed. Now when public officers work for the salaries they are being paid the public must accept that it is a consequence of the damage done to the psyche of the public worker by the five per cent wage settlement. This tells the worker that this is all he is worth and that everything else is a higher priority than his ability to meet his family’s needs. The Government has won itself a pyrrhic victory which will soon blow up in its face. Workers cannot and will not accept wage settlements such as this, despite the Prime Minister’s pious protestations that “we wish we could have paid more, but the country cannot afford it.” The country is only slowly coming to the realisation of what has occurred and the reaction, though delayed, will set this nation back decades. 

There is a worldwide movement to emasculate trade unions, despite the damage done to world economies by the business sector. The hope was that the shift towards more moderate governments would have mitigated the danger, but these new governments are proving to be as toxic as the ones that preceded them. In T&T we need to recognise the pitfalls of the direction in which we are heading and take steps to rein in the excesses of the Government before it is too late.

Karan Mahabirsingh

Chase Village, Freeport


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